The crackdown on the gangster-terror nexus by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has led to the arrest of 300 persons including mid-level criminals.
The entire operation became necessary after it was learnt that this nexus of gangsters and terrorists were operating from abroad and using locals to orchestrate crimes in India.
Assisted by the Delhi Police, the NIA operation was overseen and monitored by Union Home Minister, Amit Shah. The operation which has been ongoing since the past seven months has also led to the arrest and deportation of gangsters such as Deepak Boxer.
The operation also led to the arrest of a juvenile, who was involved in the RPG attack in Mohali.
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Sources tell OneIndia that as per the directions of the Home Minister, the NIA had first registered a case in August 2022. The main intention was to dismantle the gangster-terror nexus.
The NIA according to the source cited above had found a direct link between the local gangs in north India and those based in countries such as the United Kingdom and Canada. The likes of gangster Goldy Brar too came under the scanner of the agencies.
In March this year, the NIA filed its first chargesheet in the case. It named 12 accused including Arshdeep Singh Gill, a terrorist listed under the UAPA. It also said that these elements were closely associated with pro-Khalistan outfits. The chargesheet that was submitted to the NIA court said that the probe has been on for over six months, which involved extensive searches and examination of around 100 members of different organised crime support networks at 91 locations across Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi.
An Intelligence Bureau official said that the nexus of the Pakistan sponsored elements became clear following this operation, which is still ongoing. The ISI had reached out to gangsters who had taken refuge abroad. In turn these gangsters activated networks in India and paid them to carry out attacks. These gangs were involved in drug smuggling, murders and terror attacks.
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To facilitate their actions further the ISI directed the Jaish-e-Mohammad to send out drones into India carrying consignments of arms, ammunitions and drugs. The entire modus operandi was to bring terror back in Punjab and re-activate the Khalistan movement. To give the movement a religious spin, the ISI also used the likes of Amritpal Singh, who is currently on the run.
Until this modus operandi was activated, the local gangsters ran their separate gangs and indulged in extortion. However with this operation being activated the local gangs came together and began working for a larger cause and that is terrorising North India, particularly Punjab.
Story first published: Thursday, April 6, 2023, 9:39 [IST]